After a Hyattsville woman was killed in a road rage shooting in Riverdale last month, two of her closest friends spoke with News4’s Darcy Spencer about her life and the teenage son she leaves behind.
On April 2, Prince George’s County Police officers responded to what they called a road rage shooting at about 7 p.m. in the 5200 block of 56th Avenue. Keya Beale, 50, was pronounced dead on the scene.
“I was speechless. I thought it was a bad dream,” Beale’s friend, Lynue Chambers, said.
Police said Beale was a passenger in a car when she was shot. They have not said what led to the shooting.
Melinda Riley and Chambers met Beale while they were all students at Howard University.
Riley described Beale as a “beacon of light.” She is now the guardian of Beale’s son Dwayne, who has autism and is in 11th grade in Prince George’s County. Riley has set up a donation page to raise money for his needs.
“It’s a village of us that are helping to make sure that he is continued to be raised in the way that Keya would want him to be, and to meet, if not exceed, the goals that she had for him in life,” Riley said.
Beale’s friends said the driver of the car she was in had honked the horn to avoid an accident before the other driver opened fire. Police have not confirmed this account.
“If you can’t even blow a horn now without losing your life, when you’re actually trying to prevent something from happening to yourself, I mean, what can you do?” Riley said.
Police have charged Maurice Bellinger, 31, of Riverdale, with Beale’s murder.
“It really is sad that we just don’t have enough love out here amongst one another to just live a normal life without fear of someone doing some harm to you,” Chambers said.
Beale’s friends said it gives them some relief that police have made an arrest, but they know they’ll probably not get the answer they long for.
“What prompted you to just take a life that means so much to this world, to the community, to her family?” Riley asked.
“It’s sad that this is how her story ends when she was such a special person,” Chambers said.